…we have a new neighbor. It seemed marginally frightening, too, until later in the day when we were chased by a crazy cow and understood true fear. That was after the downpour (actually, what is more severe than downpour, but less severe than monsoon?) in which Ivan got drenched, even with an umbrella. The rain happened before the school bazaar, where we ate free food and listened to a steel drum band play Bob Marley.
Let me tell the story of Sunday, January 15th in chronological order.
The morning began with heavy rains, letting up for an hour at a time before crashing down again. Ivan left late in the morning for convocation, braving the deluge to trek to campus. He took an umbrella, but the rain let up just as he left. Lucky, huh?
I had three hours to kill before Ivan got back home and we had to get ready for a presentation of student organizations at school. My plan was to tidy up, do the usual weekend rounds, beginning with laundry. So I stripped the bed and had a basket of sheets to take out of the apartment, down the hall, outside, and into the utility room with the washing machines. Pretty simple, right? Then I opened the door and, dangling by one long-toed foot from the ceiling, was a bat, characteristically wrapped in its wings.
I slammed the door. (And maybe also made a little eep! sound.)
Then I cracked the door open again. The bat wriggled around and looked right at me.
I slammed the door again.
Logically, it makes sense a bat would be hanging around (like the pun?); there are bugs galore and if it’s a fruit bat, there’s plenty of fruit too. Logically, I should have been pleased to see the bat and even welcomed him into our home, “Please, feast on our mosquitoes. We’ve had our fill.”
But I’m a girl and no girl is logical in the first moments of a confrontation with a bat, spider, rat or cockroach. My immediate response was: It probably has rabies. It probably wants to fly into my hair. Dwight Schrute is not here to save me.
I checked on the bat every few moments and even scared it away a couple times, but it always flew right back to its hang out (I am so punny!). The next couple hours I stayed cooped in the house while a fresh rainstorm started up, listening to the telltale sounds of the front gate alerting me to Ivan’s return. I cracked the door when I heard him in the hall, but he hadn’t even noticed the bat and the bat seemed likewise unperturbed. Having safely walked underneath the bat, Ivan proved to me it was a harmless thing. And just like that, the bat became a magnet for my affection. We had a new neighbor! Ivan and I agreed that we should name it. He suggested Bad Bat Leroy Brown and I said John Cougar MellenBat. I need your input please. Which name is best?
Ivan had been caught in the newest downpour and despite having deployed his umbrella, was about fifteen pounds heavier in the wet jeans department.
He changed and we left for the school again. After another seminar, we experienced our first bazaar at SGU. Tents were erected for student organizations, local vendors, restaurants and stores; there was even a truck piled high with fresh produce. For mood music, there was a steel drum band playing reggae (note the video features One Love by Marley).
As a first term student, Ivan was given $30 in coupons from the school for food. With those we had dinner, which included a smoothie (banana cocoa for me and banana oats for Ivan), sweet ‘n sour chicken and noodles, cheesecake and chocolate cake.
Bloated and tired from a long day, we waddled back to the apartment. As we were walking along a straight stretch, we saw an enormous cow round the corner ahead. And she was running. I mean running, like full steam ahead, bulldozer. Cows are typically seen as slothful, dumb, gentle giants. This cow had a dangerous amount of crazy in her eyes. There she was, weighing in somewhere north of one-thousand pounds, looking as fat as we felt, and I pulled out my camera. At that time, she was on the other side of the road, so I wasn’t yet terrified into running for my life. I took her photo at the very same moment she decided to cross the road and come stampeding right for us.
That’s when the terror kicked in. As this behemoth came barreling right for us, my life did not flash before my eyes because I was too busy checking for oncoming traffic to make sure my escape route was clear (I’m not sure what would be worse: getting trampled by a crazy cow or mowed down by a reggae bus). Meanwhile, I just kept thinking about how I have enjoyed the veal Provençal at Oscar’s on more than one occasion and, although I rarely eat red meat, will always order my steaks medium rare. Some small part of me thought, Ah, retribution. But the rest of me thought, Get this on video for your blog! Unfortunately, the clip was utter confusion due to my frantically flailing arms as we rushed across the street, rendering the video little more than a blur of pavement and footsteps. My apologies, I was not in my right mind.
Once we crossed the road, we hit a 6-foot chain-link fence. I was going to scale it, really I was. And with my intense coordination skills, it would have been epic. But some sliver of sanity within me paused to check on our imminent threat. There it was, galloping away from us, still crazy as ever, burying itself in a field.
So we continued on our merry way. As we approached our road, I decided to keep straight for a bit so we could again pass the yard where the Ben & Jerry’s cow was tied. I felt awful not having provided a photo after such a description (see previous post). As we approached the yard, we noticed one of the cows was loose, nonchalantly crossing the road for the greener grass on the other side. We had apparently found the loose cow culprit, and the owners were nowhere to be seen. I was hesitant to get any closer, for fear of another charging. Then I heard a dog collar jingling behind us. The situation didn’t seem like it needed more animals in the mix. I turned, perhaps with the intention of shooing the pup away. Wrong. Not a jingling dog collar. A jingling cow chain. Still attached to Crazy Cow Number One. Running full speed toward us. Even closer than last time.
This time I knew the road was too busy to cross (plus, there was a loose cow on that side too). So I hopped over a low fence next to us, flipping myself into the cow owner’s yard. This time I was thinking about how I had described this cow’s friend as a double serving of delicious ice cream. I deserved this. Ivan did not jump over the fence. Ever the indomitable person, he stood his ground. When he called, hey, I expected to turn and find him with feet planed, hand outstretched like Neo, stopping the insane Matrix cow. I was wrong. He was just alerting me that the frothing cow had veered off the sidewalk and was now again charging for me! So I flipped back over the fence and watched my hysterical cow lumber off into another field.
I’m happy to say the craziness ended then. We walked home without more complications and, on our way in the door, waved hello to Bad Bat Leroy Brown/John Cougar MellenBat.
Also worth mentioning: Ivan had his first day of classes today, which was more of an introduction for professors and syllabus briefing; he also had his white coat ceremony and I intend to get pictures of him in his coat; he has signed up for four student organizations so far.